Luke Rockhold Empathizes With Francis Ngannou’s UFC Split

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold recently shared his thoughts on Francis Ngannou‘s departure from the UFC.

‘The Predator’ was recently stripped of his UFC Heavyweight Title and is no longer a part of the roster. Ngannou has frequently been very vocal about his dissatisfaction with the UFC fighter pay scale and treatment of fighters as independent contractors.

Francis Ngannou
ESPN

Last year, the Cameroonian star made clear his interest in boxing WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury. Now that he’s a free agent, Ngannou has already received interest from several notable names in boxing. Under his UFC contract, it’s unlikely he ever would’ve been able to pursue them the way that Conor McGregor managed to with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

For Luke Rockhold, who’s had his own fair share of qualms with the promotion, Ngannou’s split from the UFC is understandable.

Luke Rockhold Supportive Of Francis Ngannou “Wanting His Freedom”

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Rockhold was asked for his thoughts on ‘The Predator’s departure. He highlighted Ngannou’s desire for more freedom in his combat sports career. The former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion also noted that negotiating with Dana White can be a stressful endeavor.

“I respect Francis, me and Francis have always seen eye to eye,” Rockhold said. “I absolutely have the most respect for Francis making his choice and wanting his freedom. Freedom is a f***ing thing, it’s a- negotiations are not fun with Dana. I’ve been through a lot of them.”

Luke Rockhold announced his retirement from competition last year after his UFC 278 loss to Paulo Costa. The fight saw an exhausted Rockhold fight relentlessly against Costa’s pressure, ultimately dragging the increasingly bloody bout to a decision.

Interestingly, despite seemingly bowing out, Rockhold has recently expressed an interest in returning to active competition. The former middleweight star has entered free agency and appears to have reconsidered last year’s retirement call. Much like Ngannou, he’s expressed interest in potentially crossing over to boxing.

Would you like to see a Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury crossover bout?

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